should help show why it's ridiculous to blame the rapid spread of
the H5N1 variant on east Asia's migratory birds. The gist of the
argument is summarised on the right of the map - birds wintering
in the south had departed South Korea and Japan before their outbreaks
began; hadn't even arrived in southern areas (especially Indonesia)
as outbreaks began there. And China (crossroads for most of the
migration routes) didn't even report outbreaks till January, well
after the autumn migration had ended.
In the west
of the area are openbill storks, which nest at a few colonies in
Thailand, during winter. Some died this winter, and even before
testing positive for H5N1 (which was reportedly identified in three
carcasses) this incident was taken as evidence for migratory birds
spreading bird flu. Trouble is, they migrate from Bangladesh/NE
India; and they feed in fields within one of Thailand's worst-hit
regions - making it surely the case that local poultry farms were
the source of the virus; they were victims.
case crumbles even further when you consider that thousands of migrants
have been tested for H5N1, yet not one healthy bird has yet tested
positive. All wild birds that have tested positive have been dead
(or dying). And dead ducks don't fly.